Aurélie Méjean is a researcher (chargée de recherche) at CNRS, affiliated with CIRED (Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement).
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Aurélie Méjean, Antonin Pottier, Stéphane Zuber, Marc Fleurbaey
Climate change raises the issue of intergenerational equity. As climate change threatens irreversible and dangerous impacts, possibly leading to extinction, the most relevant trade-off may not be between present and future consumption, but between present consumption and the mere existence of future generations. To investigate this trade-off, we build an integrated assessment model that explicitly accounts for the risk of extinction of future generations. We compare different climate policies, which change the probability of catastrophic outcomes yielding an early extinction, within the class of variable population utilitarian social welfare functions. We show that the risk of extinction is the main driver of the preferred policy over climate damages. We analyze the role of inequality aversion and population ethics. Usually a preference for large populations and a low inequality aversion favour the most ambitious climate policy, although there are cases where the effect of inequality aversion is reversed.
Antonin Pottier, Aurélie Méjean, Olivier Godard, Jean-Charles Hourcade
Climate change poses immense problems of intergenerational, intragenerational and international justice. This critical survey describes the intellectual landscape of global climate justice, and clarifies the challenges, positions, arguments and theoretical background of this concept. To do so, we review how equity is mobilised in the climate change economics literature and confront arguments about justice used within or at the periphery of climate negotiations with those of moral and political philosophers. We present the stances of States, NGOs and experts. We discuss the principles of justice underpinning the fair sharing of a carbon budget and their moral justifications. We examine the concepts of climate damage and of responsibility and highlight the hurdles to make way for historical emissions in climate justice. We conclude on some implications of the Paris Agreement for climate justice and the way forward.